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Tyler Road Closed for Water Line Repairs

TYLER — The City of Tyler is working to repair a water line in Tyler. The Water Department is currently reparing a water line under Rice Road west of Hollytree Drive. All westbound lanes of Rice Road from Hollytree Drive to Plantation Drive will be closed until further notice. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and take alternative routes of travel to avoid delays.

Longview Police Investigating Fatal Hit and Run

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW — One woman is dead after an early morning hit and run accident in Longview. It happened at 12:15 in the 1600 block of South Green Street. Longview Police were called to scene and found a woman who had been hit by a vehicle. According to KETK, Tabitha Lynn Herriage Rodriguez, 33, of Longview, was walking northbound in the inside lane of South Green Street when she was hit by a suspect’s vehicle. After striking Rodriguez, the driver continued traveling northbound and failed to stop and help the victim. Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. The suspect’s vehicle is described as a maroon or red truck. If anyone has any information regarding this incident they are asked to call Longview Police at 903-237-1199 or call the Gregg County Crime Stoppers.

Country Legend Price Remembered as Innovator

1381610_518986768191637_925345008_nMOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price has been remembered at a memorial service in his East Texas hometown as a musical innovator and a gentleman. The Daily Tribune reports hundreds of people packed the service on Saturday in Mount Pleasant, the town about 110 miles northeast of Dallas where Price had lived for 31 years. At the service, a statement from Willie Nelson was read. Nelson wrote that, “Without a Ray Price, there wouldn’t have been a Willie Nelson.” Price gave Nelson his first big break when he hired Nelson to play bass in his band. Price died Monday at the ranch he owned with his wife, Janie, outside Mount Pleasant. He was 87. A funeral is planned for Dec. 28 in Dallas.

Longview Officer Tied to Drug Bust Steps Down

satterwhitespencerfbLONGVIEW — A Longview Police officer tied to a drug bust at his apartment earlier this month has stepped down. According to KETK, Longview Police Public Information Officer, Kristie Brian said Lt. Mike Satterwhite, a 37 year employee, resigned on Wednesday. The resignation comes after police found less than two ounces of marijuana and other items of drug paraphernalia at his rental home in the 300 block of Lake Lamond Avenue at Autumnwood Apartments on December 10. Read the rest of this entry »

Felon Arrested for Possession of Gun

DocumentFragment_4271700GREGG COUNTY — A Kilgore man, previously convicted of a felony crime, was arrested Thursday night at the Chick-fil-A near Loop 281 and Fourth Street after an employee said he caught him with an unregistered firearm. According to the Longview News-Journal, John Houston Brown, 31, was arrested by Longview police at about 10:15. Police said an employee questioned a case Brown was carrying when he paid for his meal and the man got defensive. Brown said he used the gun for work as a security guard. When police responded they found brass knuckles, 13.38 caliber rounds and a firearm. Brown did not have a concealed handgun license. He was taken to the Gregg County Jail on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He was held Friday on a $10,000 bond.

House Damaged by Friday Night Fire

troupfirehouse2SMITH COUNTY — A home in Troup is damaged by fire Friday evening. Flames broke out around 5 p.m. in the 21000 block Ponsard Street. Firefighters tell KETK, the outside of the house is in fair condition but flames quickly spread through the inside. Firefighters are investigating the cause.

Two Dead in East Texas from H1N1

TYLER — Although the World Health Organization announced the H1N1 pandemic ended in August 2010, the virus has lingered ever since and even killed recently. KETK reports that out of the reported cases in the East Texas area, two people have died, both in Gregg County. As of week 49, or December 2-8 of this year, more than 40 East Texas cases of H1N1 showed positive results through a “rapid test.” While the rapid test is usually accurate, it can produce a false negative. Therefore, the true number of cases is not known, according to the Northeast Texas Public Health District’s Director of Public Health Preparedness, Russell Hopkins. Read the rest of this entry »

$50,000 Worth of Tools Taken from Longview Business

thumb_police-longview2LONGVIEW — A Longview business is asking for help after $50,000 worth of tools went missing. According to KETK, police say they were taken from Longview Wheel and Performance on Marshall Avenue. Owner Mike Kittner says surveillance footage shows at least two men, one wearing a camo jacket. He says they pulled up to the back of the shop, drilled a hole in the wall, and went inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler ISD Board of Trustees Appoints New Member

Ross StraderTYLER – The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees held a special session Friday morning to appoint a new board member to fill the current Single Member District 5 vacancy. The District 5 position was previously held by long-time board member Brad Spradlin, who resigned from his position December 11. During the meeting, the Board of Trustees appointed Rev. Ross Strader, Senior Pastor at Bethel Bible Church, to fill the vacancy until a special election is held in May 2014. At that time, voters will elect a candidate to complete the term that will expire in May 2015.

Longview Murder Suspect Found Guilty

Lady JusticeLONGVIEW — A jury in the 188th State District Court in Longview, after deliberating for over four hours, has found Troy Carnell Saddler, 20, guilty of murder. He had been charged in the September 2011 murder Orion Marcell Peoples, 31. Peoples was found inside a residence in the 1100 block of Hutchings Boulevard with at least one gunshot wound. Christopher Carter, 23, of Longview told police that Saddler pointed a gun at him and assaulted him inside the home where Peoples was fatally shot. Saddler fled the scene, but was arrested after a traffic stop near the intersection of Noel Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Longview Woman Charged with Burglary

Dana Michelle PhillipsLONGVIEW — A Longview woman has been arrested after being accused of burglarizing a family’s home while they were at a funeral. Arrested by White Oak police was Dana Michelle Phillips, 25. She is accused of stealing, among other things, five television sets and a computer from a home back in September. Phillips was arrested earlier this week after a warrant was issued for her arrest, charging her with burglary of a habitation. KETK reports that Phillips’ Facebook page indicates she is a 2007 graduate of Pine Tree High School and is a stay at home mother.

More Lakes May Be Included in Zebra Mussel Fight

zebra musselsAUSTIN (AP/STAFF) — State officials fighting the spread of invasive zebra mussels want the public’s input on a proposal to require that people in 30 more counties drain all boats operating on public water after use. A release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Thursday said the 30 counties are in Central and North Texas. One of the counties is Henderson County west of Highway 19. Read the rest of this entry »

Rabid Skunk Found in Smith County

rabid skunkTYLER — The Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory Thursday advised the Northeast Texas Public Health District that a skunk submitted for analysis tested positive for rabies. The skunk was found in the 19000 block of N. Vivian in Lindale. Health officials say the four domestic dogs exposed have been identified. According to officials, it is highly recommended for all residents owning dogs and cats to verify they have been vaccinated against rabies in the last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Recommend Charter Revocation for Azleway Charter School

Texas Education Agency3SMITH COUNTY — A Smith County charter school is one of six recommended for revocation of their charters by the Texas Education Agency in 2014. KETK reports Azleway Charter School, located at 15892 County Road 26, has been identified as a charter school that failed to meet its academic or financial accountability performance ratings for three consecutive years. It is unclear at this time which criteria Azleway failed to meet. “We have a unique group at Azleway,” said Superintendent Steve Lenz. “They are all Texas kids in crisis. There is an appeal in the process. And I will be requesting a hearing with the commissioner of education. Until then, we will be giving our children the best education there is.” Read the rest of this entry »

Broken Water Line Causes Delays

TYLER — Tyler Water Utilities reported around 2:40 Thursday afternoon that a contractor working on West Loop 323 had struck and broken a 12 inch water main. City officials said crews were dispatched to support the contractor’s work to repair the line. Due to the break, traffic was reduced to one lane on the West Loop near Highway 31 West. Additionally, there were reports of low to no water pressure in the vicinity of Shaw and West Erwin. It was estimated that repairs wouldn’t be done until sometime Thursday evening.

Tyler Earns Gold Leadership Circle Award for Transparency

thumb_Barbara-Bass-2TYLER — For the third time, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs recognized the City of Tyler with a “Gold Leadership Circle Award” for transparency in local government. According to a news release, the Comptroller’s Leadership Circle program recognizes local governments across Texas striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online, in a user-friendly format. “Transparency has been a priority for me personally during my tenure as Mayor of Tyler,” said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass (pictured). “Tyler works hard to ensure financial information is readily available to citizens via our web site. Our goal is to communicate and operate in a way that is open and accessible to our community.” Read the rest of this entry »

TJC, A&M Commerce Formally Announce Partnership

thumb_tjc-signTYLER — Texas A&M University-Commerce and Tyler Junior College have formally announced their partnership to simplify the transfer process for students transitioning from associate degree programs at TJC into bachelor’s degree programs at A&M-Commerce. The three-year partnership becomes effective today. TJC students following the recommended program of study, common core, and transfer curriculum, or who have earned an associate degree and meet all other admissions requirements, will automatically receive admission to A&M-Commerce in order to begin work toward their bachelor’s degrees. Read the rest of this entry »

Father Arrested for Child Endangerment

dodd_nac_jail.jpgNACOGDOCHES — A maintenance man entered a Nacogdoches apartment around 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon to find a two year old boy playing with toys inside alone. According to KETK, the boy had been left in the apartment by his father, Howard Terrell Dodd, 28. Police were called to the apartment on the 300 block of Ellington Street and arrested Dodd on site when he returned. Child Protective Services was called to the apartment complex and released the boy to his mother. Dodd has been charged with Child Endangerment/Neglect and has been booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.

Mom, Boyfriend Accused in Beating of Girl

Ashley WingoLUFKIN (AP) – An East Texas grand jury has indicted a woman and her boyfriend for allegedly using belts, switches and shoes to beat her 3-year-old daughter. Angelina County jail records show Ashley Wingo and Elisiah Phipps were being held Thursday on felony injury to a child charges. Online jail records don’t list attorneys for the pair, whose bond is $50,000 apiece. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Sentenced in Tyler Murder

Marquel Jermon Scott2TYLER — A Tyler man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for a murder last year. Marquel Jermon Scott, 33, after being convicted of the killing on Tuesday, was sentenced Wednesday. He could have received a life prison sentence for the November 26, 2012, shooting death of Keeston Fields, 26. The shooting occurred early that morning at the Hyena’s motorcycle club in north Tyler.

Longview Burglary Suspect Arrested

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW — A Longview burglary suspect has been arrested. A homeowner returned home shortly after 1:30 Wednesday afternoon to see a man taking a television from his house. He called police with a description of the vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody about 15 minutes following a brief chase that ended in Harrison County. The suspect’s name has not been released.

Dad Surprises Daughter at Lindale School

Stephen Stroman and daughterLINDALE — U.S. Arrmy Sgt. Stephen Stroman has braved the brutal desert temperatures of Iraq and Afghanistan. He is comfortable in his Army fatigues. His military training and expertise was no match for the stifling heat and itchy interior of a high school mascot costume. “It’s pretty hot in this thing,” Sgt. Stroman said, “and I can see out of my peripheral but I can’t see straight ahead.” The temporary discomfort and obscured vision were quickly put at ease when the tiny arms of his daughter Emmaleigh wrapped around him for the first time in more than a year. Sgt. Stroman surprised Emmaleigh, a first-grade student at Lindale’s Velma Penny Elementary School, with a visit to her physical education class on Wednesday. He dressed in the Lindale Eagle mascot costume to conceal himself and provide a special gift in time for Christmas. The father and daughter had been separated for a year due to his assignment in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

Some Area Schools See Increase in Freshman Teacher Hires

vlcsnap_2013_12_18_17h22m10s187LONGVIEW — East Texas appears to be bucking a statewide trend that sees schools hiring fewer first-time teachers than ever. KETK reports the Pine Tree, Longview, Gilmer, and Kilgore Independent School Districts are among a list of 18 East Texas schools that have seen an increase in the hiring of “freshman,” or first-time, teachers since 2009. Pine Tree Human Resources Director Suzanne Shackelford says while the number of first-time teachers Pine Tree hires is on the rise, her district looks for the best teaching candidates of all ages. She does note that the freshman teachers are graduating with an important knowledge of technical skills, something that veteran teachers may not have.

Tyler Moves Forward with Purchase of Property for Animal Care Facility

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The City of Tyler has announced its plan to move forward with the purchase of property at 4218 Chandler Highway for the purposes of opening a city-owned and operated animal care facility. On Nov. 15, the City entered into a sales contract for $550,000 for the 10 acres and existing buildings on the property to be used for the facility. The sales contract allowed the City 30 days to evaluate the property, which was originally a commercial facility used for manufacturing. During this 30-day window, the City began the process of determining the costs of renovation to prepare the structures for this new purpose, according to a news release. “While firm opinions of probable costs are not in yet, the renovation of the building is estimated to cost in the range of $180 per square foot, versus approximately $240 per square foot for a new building,” said City Engineer Carter Delleney. Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Service Planned for Country Legend Price

ray_price_fbDALLAS (AP/Staff) – A memorial service is scheduled in East Texas for Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price, who died this week. The service is planned for 1:00 Saturday afternoon at First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant. Price died Monday at the ranch he owned with his wife, Janie, outside Mount Pleasant. He was 87. Janie Price told the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune that the couple enjoyed living in “the small, quiet setting of this town.” Ray Price is credited with changing the sound of country music as he collaborated with the genre’s biggest stars and remained relevant for more than half a century. He was one of country music’s most popular and influential singers and bandleaders, recording more than 100 hits.

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